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Wealthy tourists looking for custom experiences in Estonia

Külli Karing, vice president of the Estonian Tourism and Travel Association, told Vikerraadio that wealthy Germans and Americans come to Estonia for special experiences, such as a private tour of the Kadriorg Palace, a hike that culminates in a gourmet dinner in the middle of a bog, visiting a boutique currant winery or discussing the Estonian digital state with the locals.

“We first tried to make Estonia more attractive for wealthy Germans and Americans around a decade ago. We produced fancy catalogues and a website, but luxury tourism simply did not spell Estonia at the time. They came with us to Saint Petersburg, Riga and even Warsaw, but Estonia was not known as a luxury destination. We gave up as you need to pursue what works,” Külli Karing said.

But things have changed now, she added, and wealthier tourists are increasingly setting their sights on the Baltic destination.

“What can you offer special clients in terms of exclusive luxury these days? It’s not golden faucets or opulent hotel rooms, even though the latter still need to be good. What people mostly expect are special experiences, and these include meetings with locals that are special and stay with you, and also remain out of reach for most tourists,” Karing explained.

One topic that interests tourists is how ordinary Estonians make use of the digital services on offer. “It baffles them. They just can’t believe it,” the head of the tourism association said.

More read: ERR.EE

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